Hontiveros on sedition raps: ‘Badly written telenovela’
MANILA, Philippines – “It is a badly written telenovela. Bad acting. Awful script. Terrible plot twist.”
That was how Senator Risa Hontiveros dismissed the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s (PNP-CIDG) move to file sedition and other complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo and 35 other individuals over their alleged involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos.
Hontiveros, who was also named in the complaint, said the sedition case would distract people from the real issues hounding the county as President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22.
“I also find it odd that the filing of charges was done days before the President’s 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA). I fear that this is another attempt to introduce a ‘distracting narrative’ to the people to veer public attention away from the real issues surrounding the country’s state of affairs,” Hontiveros said in a statement on Friday.
Hontiveros also criticized the PNP for harassing the opposition instead of going after high-profile criminals and drug lords.
“It is also a total waste of taxpayers’ money. Instead of devoting human resources and money to pursue big-time drug lords and other criminals, our police force goes on a wild goose chase to further harass and intimidate the democratic opposition,” Hontiveros said.
The senator, however, said the opposition will not be intimidated over the sedition case, noting that they will continue to fight for democracy and human rights in the country.
“We will not be distracted. We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. Even against overwhelming odds, we will continue to speak truth to power and defend democracy and human rights in the country,” she said.
Aside from Hontiveros and Robredo, the PNP-CIDG also filed sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, against opposition senator Leila de Lima, former senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes IV and members of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate; namely, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc and former congressman Erin Tañada.
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas and incumbent CBCP Vice President Archbishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, running priests Fr. Robert Reyes, Frs. Flaviano Villanueva, Albert E. Alejo, Bishops Honesto Ongtioco and Teodoro Bacani Jr. were also included in the complaints.
Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be the hooded man in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, was named as one of the respondents in the complaint.
The six-part video series linked the family and close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drug trade.
Advincula eventually said in his testimony that the video series was part of the opposition members’ “Project Sodoma” which sought to discredit Duterte and destabilize the government.
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